Kralendijk- During a short ceremony this afternoon, an official start was made with the expansion project of the current facilities at Flamingo Airport Bonaire.
The expansion has become necessary as the number of passengers making use of the airport has steadily grown over the past years. An important part of the project will be the doubling in size of the current departure hall. After completion of the project, the airport will be able to handle nearly twice as much departing passengers per hour, namely 500 per hour. The current limit is about 300 per hour.
Interim Director at the airport, Mario Bikker, said that the expansion will be realized in about 215 days and that the expansion would greatly improve the passenger experience when departing Bonaire.
Bikker also explained that modern techniques had been used to identify all operational bottlenecks of the current facilities, so that they can be addressed as much as possible.
Architect, Ronny Lobo of the firm Lobo & Raymann explained in reaction to questions of the BES-Reporter that preparations of the project for the current expansion had initiated all the way back in the year 2015. “Actually the arrival hall is just as much in need of an expansion as the Departure Hall”, said Lobo. The further expansion of the current facilities will depend to a great extent on the ability of the airport to pay for the improvements to be made.
The costs for the current expansion, budgeted at about 2.5 million US Dollars will be paid out of the airport’s own reserves. Last year the airport implemented an airport improvement fee paid by departing passengers, to help pay for the expansion.
“I am excited about this expansion project” said Commissioner Kroon. “Our government supports the efforts by BIA for 100% and we look forward to the airport’s proposals for other improvements, which will for sure also receive our support”, according to the Commissioner.
BonNed contractors won the contract to realize the current expansion.